Who gets cheap health insurance? The Florida Legislature

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Republicans pushing for changes in the state? health insurance program for its employees have complained the state may be spending too much money for a program that is out of line with what private companies offer. And they ought to know, Christine Jordan Sexton writes in the Florida Tribune.

At a time when the GOP-controlled Legislature is complaining about health insurance mandates from the federal government, nearly every state legislator is covered by the state under a plan that right now costs no more than $360 a year for family coverage and only $100 a year for individual coverage. All 40 state senators are enrolled in the state? health insurance plan as are 112 members of the Florida House according to information obtained by the Florida Tribune. 39 state senators and 115 House members also have dental insurance.

The state did not release the names of any individual lawmakers, but instead just gave totals. Among those getting coverage from the state is Sen. J.D. Alexander, who is chief executive officer of Alico, a land-management company. ‘It saves money for my company and it? a benefit provided by the state,’ said Alexander. Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, was even more blunt. Latvala, who was re-elected to the state Senate last fall after spending several years out of state government, called the state? health insurance program a great bargain. He pointed out on Wednesday that the state plan currently charges cheaper co-payments than what he was charged in the private sector. Continue reading here.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.